New Delhi–The road transport and highways ministry in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Thursday said that it has given “in-principle” approval to convert 51,300 km length of state roads as new highways.

The criteria for the conversion includes roads running through the length and breadth of the country, connecting adjacent countries, national capital with state capitals, mutually the state capitals, major ports, large industrial centres or tourist centres, roads meeting very important strategic requirement in hilly and isolated areas, a written reply by Minster of State for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan stated.

The total length of highways in the country till March 31, 2014 was about 91,287 km, which has been enhanced to about 1,15,435 km at present.

The Ministry has also taken up a detailed review of the highways network with a view to develop road connectivity to border areas, development of coastal roads, improvement in the efficiency of National Corridors and development of Economic Corridors under the proposed Bharatmala Pariyojana.

On June 16 the Public Investment Board recommended the proposal for Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for investment approval. (IANS)